Friday, January 30, 2009

Black Tie. Blue Jackets. And a Visit to Children’s…..




After a long awaited month and several opportunities to help the Columbus Blue Jackets promote the fundraiser, Ryan’s night had come! And it went out with a …..Visit to Children’s ER.

Above you will see a photo of all the "Heroes" and Ryan at the walk through of the night’s event with Jason Chimera (more photos have been added to the picture site.) He looked great and had a good time early on. But during the show a migraine headache as well as other complications caused a trip to Children’s and a battery of tests. By 2am they could not determine the cause, but did discover an abnormal EKG that will be followed up on Monday. Ryan is at home resting and recovering.

I would like to thank all of the Blue Jacket players and staff for the support they have shown Ryan. Every time he has the opportunity to be around that organization, he seems to get the strength of Superman. It was great to see some of the families that we met early on in Ryan's treatment. I will post more over the weekend.
Thanks for every ones support!
-Brad

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Back home for a big week

Ryan is back home. The source of the fever was never found, maybe just a result of the low counts. Ryan has enjoyed a somewhat quiet weekend resting at home.

Ryan will be on NBC Channel 4 news at noon on Monday. This time he will be all alone talking with a reporter on his participation with the Blue Jackets and The Hats for Heroes program. Afterwards it is off to Children's for labs.

Wednesday night is the Black Tie event for the Blue Jackets Foundation. I am sure that Thursday you can view pictures on their website at www.bluejacketsfoundation.org. But I am sure that Barry will be posting new photos from the night as well.
-Brad

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ryan Back at Children’s

Tuesday night Ryan’s temperature spiked to a little over 101 degrees and it was off to Children’s for another visit with the J5 team. Ryan has been feeling pretty well, but the blood counts are certainly being tested by the latest rounds of chemo. His hemoglobin, white blood count and platelet’s are very low. He is receiving blood and platelets today, and we are waiting on the cultures that were drawn last night. I will post another update once we know more of what caused this most recent issue.

We as parents often talk about the kids and the parents on J5 and how we can support each other. Many times we forget about the doctors and nurses that take care of all the kids. While we fight our own battles and become close to a few children, many nurses and doctors have relationship with ALL the patients and sometimes their burden becomes overwhelming. This has become more apparent to our family with the circumstances from last week. Please keep all the care givers on this floor in your prayers: PCA’s, nurses, and doctors. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own fight we forget to thank those in the battle with us.

-Brad

Monday, January 19, 2009

A great day with a fun experiance

Hey all its Ryan,

I thought i would tell everybody about my great day on sunday. Also i would like to share a pretty fun experiance of going to try on my suit for the Blue Jackets fashion show.

Sunday the agenda was go try on my suit for the fashion show, find a pair of dress shoes, and grab some food. To try on my suit we had to go up to Saks Fifth Avenue because they are the official sponsor of the fashio show and store that is donating the clothes for us heroes to wear. i got up to the store we met up with Anna the stores manager of the men's and women's departments who was a super nice lady and was so helpful. Anna had a suit picked out for me and i had tried it on and liked it but i didnt like the fact that there wasnt a pocket in my jacket for the hankercheif : ( Anna also didnt like the idea of that so she went out and picked me a new suit. when she came back i could not have been more excited she cam back with a georgous Armani limited collection suit. so after getting everything on and getting to see it together i was so excited everything looked so good. i cant wait for the fashion show to get to wear it. Anyway the suit is all black my dress shirt is greyish silver with black pinstripes and the pinstripes on the collar and cuff match but the main part of the shirt the pinstripes are different. Anna did a great j0b of picking out a tie and hankercheif to accent my suit. she picked a Silk bright red hankercheif and a bright red tie. Anyway when it was all together its amazing. Thank you Anna. Once i had it all on together looking at myself in the mirrors i realized how amazing i look. So sitting there thinking for a bit i realized i have never had a suit and how bad i would love to havre one. plus i wanted to wear the suit more than just down the runway. we decided to buy the suit. so i am very happy with this even though i spent every penny that i had so no im broke but its very worth it. after that we were hungry and we had not been to quakersteak and lube in a while and i wanted it really bad so thats were we went for lunch. the meal was great and made me so happy i have to make sure im getting to eat there consistancy.

Overall the weekend turned out really good even though i lost my Little Buddy Trey. im going to miss him. its very tough for me. anyway i feel good and almost back to full strength. Also end the weekend with a Jackets Win in a Shootout.

Hope all is well for everyone else.
-Ryan

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Long Weekend....

Friday morning was a rough time for Ryan as he was coming off another rough week of chemo side effects. Knowing what was ahead of him, Ryan asked to go to the day hospital for a "boost" of fluids and a quick check up. As of Friday, Ryan's count were good and with 2 bags of fluids, we were off for a long weekend.

Ryan was able to go to Trey's showing and funeral and it provided closure for him. Ryan made it through the service with great strength, and after attending, it gave strength to our family and I feel that it gave strength to the extended Martens family. After the funeral, we went to the VFW with I believe the whole town of Baltimore. The support given to this family was indescribable. It is a true testament to all the lives that Trey touched. It was good to have the time with Trey's grandparents, aunts, and close family friends. We had the opportunity to spend time with several nurses that took care of Trey, and it showed that for some it is more than a job. Even if I am the only one who knows which nurse was Trey's favorite!

Doug and Lori tried to give Ryan something fun this weekend, another night with the Jackets. You know Ryan was tired when he said he would like to go home and rest. So, we spent a quite family evening at home, still, watching the Jackets. What a tough loss. Anyway, thanks to them for trying.

Please keep Joe Friend and Megan Compton in your prayers as they both will have surgery on Monday. They both have had recent relapses and are facing challenges in the near future.
-Brad

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Trey Martens, January 14th, 2009

Trey Martens

At Children's Hospital, along side Ryan, Trey Martens fought cancer for a year. He was the first child we got to know on J5. He and his family spent the first 60 days in the room beside Ryan. After a year long battle, Trey Martens, 9 years old, passed away last night.

Please keep Wes, Shawna and Mal in your prayers. Trey, you will be missed.
-Brad

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ryan on FSN-Ohio Blue Jackets Live, Tuesday January 13th, 2009

Ryan will be a guest on Blue Jackets Live on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 6:30pm. He will be promoting the Blue Jackets Foundation Style Show that takes place on January 28, 2009. He will also be on the Blue Jackets radio station between periods one and two. He is really looking forward to doing this so say a prayer that this week’s chemo will not affect him as it did the last time.
Ryan is currently at Children’s receiving his chemo. So far everything is going well. I will post another entry once we determine how this week goes.
Please keep Trey Martens in your prayers. He and his family really need the support at this time. Also, two of Ryan’s friends, Joe Friend and Megan Compton have had relapses. Please keep them and all the J5 family in your prayers.
For those of you that continually follow Ryan’s blog, Miles Mom sent a note wishing Ryan well. I personally appreciate that and have attached a link to her blog. Please keep her in your prayers as well. She has some amazing posts and hopefully she won’t mind another excerpt from her blog:
Posted Jan 15, 2008 5:58pm
“…..You may have seen this: WHAT CANCER CANNOT DO. I read it periodically, after I assure myself, it could be worse, which now means, I would not have known love this pure.
WHAT CANCER CANNOT DO
It cannot cripple Love
It cannot shatter Faith
It cannot corrode Hope
It cannot destroy Peace
It cannot kill Friendship
It cannot suppress Memories
It cannot silence Courage
It cannot invade the Soul
It cannot steal Eternal Life
It cannot conquer the Spirit

I add, it cannot diminish a mother's love.” – Nancy Levin

Or a Father's love.......

http://cms.carepages.com/CarePages/en/ArticlesTips/FeatureArticles/Contributors/miles_mom.html
-Brad

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Update on Ryan's week

Ryan has been enjoying a week without chemo at home. He has been feeling well, and had the opportunity to watch the National Championship game with a couple buddies. On Friday, he was back at Children's hospital and commented that it was his most enjoyable visit to the hospital. He got to wear a blue badge, he was a visitor! Joe Friend, another kid his age that he met at a Blue Jackets game earlier in the year has had a relapse and Ryan wanted to go surprise him to lift his spirits. So in Ryan fashion, he called another friend of his and he and Jason Chimera went up to see Joe. Joe was surprised and seem to enjoy the time together. Ryan is looking forward to going to the Blue Jackets game this evening. Short term goals keep his spirits up and with his love for hockey, the Blue Jackets have given him a lot to look forward to. Ryan will be back at Children's on Monday for another round of chemo. This is the second time he has done this type, and the first time it was very tough on him. Please keep Ryan and all these kids in your prayers.

I am including a piece from a blog I have read. This is from a kid Ryan's age that fought the same type of cancer Ryan has. I think that it is an excellent analogy of life from a child so young.

Miles Levin
July 7, 2005

I went to the driving range the other day and I was thinking....

I was thinking how you start out with a big bucket full of golf balls, and you just start hitting away carelessly. You have dozens of them, each individual ball means nothing so you just hit, hit, hit. One ball gone is practically inconsequential when subtracted from your bottomless bucket. There are no practice swings or technique re-evaluations after a bad shot, because so many more tries remain. Yet eventually you start to have to reach down towards the bottom of the bucket to scavenge for another shot and you realize that tries are running out. Now with just a handful left, each swing becomes more meaningful. The right technique becomes more crucial, so between each shot you take a couple practice swings and a few deep breaths. There is a very strong need to end on a good note, even if every preceding shot was horrible, getting it right at the end means a lot. You know as you tee up your last ball, "This is my final shot, I want to crush this with perfection; "I must make this count." Limited quantities or limited time brings a new precious value and significance to anything you do. Live every day shooting as if it’s your last shot; I know I have to.
I found out today 5 year survival rates are just 20%.

Miles lost his fight in August of 2007. But he left a mark in the fight against childhood cancer, and certainly brought Rhabdomyosarcoma to the forefront with his exposure at CNN.

-Brad

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ryan is back home!

Ryan was released from the hospital late Friday and is home. He said the best thing about being home is that he is able to sleep in his own bed. His counts are continuing to improve and he will have to return to the day hospital on Monday to monitor his counts.
Thanks to all of the people who have visited Ryan, called Ryan, and sent notes and emails to him. As long as all goes well, Ryan should be home until January 12, when he is schedlued for another round of chemo.
-Brad